Based on the definition, I would think both lances and spears are a type of polearm. However, in some cases, I have seen the word polearm used separately to lances or spears. For example, in the game Maplestory, players can either equip a spear OR polearm, as if to say the two are completely different categories of weapons. Different sites also show different things. Some state that they consider lances and spears as polearms, while others specifically refer to polearms as something else entirely. What do you guys think?
Polearm has a precise definition which sets it apart from spears and the like:
A pole weapon or pole-arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range. A pole-arm is differentiated from a spear in that the penetrating 'edge' is parallel to the pole, rather than in-line, although many pole-arms also incorporate a spear point.